Upcoming Shows

  • July 24, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • July 24, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • July 25, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • July 25, 2014 7:30 pmFirst Fridays w/ Interrobang
  • July 25, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • July 25, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • July 25, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • July 25, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • July 26, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • July 26, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • July 26, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • July 26, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • July 26, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • July 31, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • July 31, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • August 1, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • August 1, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • August 1, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • August 1, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • August 1, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • August 2, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • August 2, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • August 2, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • August 2, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • August 2, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
AEC v1.0.4

Photos from Dog Mountain / Comedy to See This Weekend

Tim Butterly opens the show with a great standup set, including a bit about how deals with annoying sports-related small-talk at work.

Tim Butterly opens the show with a great standup set, including a bit about how deals with annoying sports-related small-talk at work.

Dog Mountain (1)  2-14

Members of Dog Mountain show how there can be many different forms of “That Guy” at a party.

Dog Mountain (6)  2-14

A doctor restores a woman’s hearing with a cochlear implant, only for her to find that her husband’s voice and taste in music are insufferable.

Dog Mountain (5)  2-14

A public service announcement: man reads his brother’s very unlikely last text message before dying in a very unlikely car accident.

Dog Mountain (4)  2-14

[Show Stealer!] Sometimes a “bad cop” can lose half his body function in a stroke and end up being even scarier.

Dog Mountain (3)  2-14

Liberal-minded man lambastes neighbor for his unconscionably bad-for-society day-jobs.

Dog Mountain (2)  2-14

Grieving parents are easily distracted by pop-culture recollections. “Who was the guy from that sitcom….”

Dog Mountain performs again tonight at PHIT, 9:00pm.

~~~~~~

There are some rare extra comedy treats happening this weekend. In addition to many of the regular shows you can find on our calendar, here are a handful of must-see performances.

Friday:

Jim Jeffries @ The Keswick Theater. 8:00pm
If you haven’t seen his comedy, give yourself a quick sample on YouTube. He’s like an Austrailian Doug Stanhope. He may some day go down as one of the greats.

Hang On With Aaron Nevins @ The Adrienne Playground. 8:00pm.
Outstanding panel comedy featuring very funny Philly comedians. Tonight’s guests are the creators of High Maintenance–named Best Web Series by USA Today and The Guardian–and Ethan T. Berlin the creator of IFC’s Bunk (who’s also been a writer on Superjail and Da Ali G Show).

Saturday:

Davenger’s Final Show @ PHIT. 9:00pm.
The former WitOut Award Winner for best new act features many of Philadelphia’s best young improv talent. They’re likely to sell out, so get your tickets online.

Ted Alexandro @ Helium. 7:30pm & 10:00pm.
Very funny Letterman regular. Catch him here at a small club before he starts doing theaters.

And the Winners of the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy are…

BEST STAND-UP COMEDIAN
Aaron Hertzog

BEST SKETCH GROUP
The Feeko Brothers

BEST IMPROV GROUP
Asteroid!

BEST STAND-UP BIT
First Guy in the World/Netflix (Aaron Hertzog)

BEST SKETCH
Mystery Science Andre 3000 (Camp Woods)

BEST MALE IMPROVISER
Luke Field

BEST FEMALE IMPROVISER
Jess Ross

BEST REGULAR SHOW
Camp Woods Plus

BEST SHORT RUN/ONE TIME SHOW
The Improvised B-Movie Double Feature (Asteroid!)

BEST PODCAST/WEB SERIES
Gettin’ Close with Mike Marbach

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF TWEETING
Mary Radzinski (@MaryRadzinski)

BEST OPEN MIC
Sketch Up or Shut Up

BEST NEW ACT
Davenger

Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best New Act

It’s almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we’ll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year’s nominees. Read all about ‘em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best New Act are:

Davenger
A mix of improv veterans and fresh faces, Philly Improv Theater House Team Davenger likes its improv lean and gamey. Performing the classic Harold format, they attack the stage with emotion, intellect, and a strong sense of mischief.

Director:
Maggy Keegan

Cast:
Dan Corkery
Hilary Kissinger
Nicholas Mirra
Alex Newman
Cait O’Driscoll
Kevin Pettit
Jessica Snow
Max Sittenfield
Brian Rumble

Hot Dish
Hot Dish features well-seasoned performers eager to satisfy audiences who hunger for funny, intelligent, ensemble-based improv comedy. Sometimes spicy, sometimes rich and indulgent, always comedically delicious.

Director:
Steve Kleinedler

Cast:
Chris Calletta
Corin Wells
Emily Davis
Jim Burns
Martha Cooney
Maureen Costello
Sue Jahani

The Flat Earth

Gathering talent from the improv, sketch, stand-up and theater worlds, The Flat Earth debuted in 2012 as Philly Improv Theater’s first house sketch team.  Their sketch revue show had a five-night run at the Philly Fringe Festival, a two-night encore at the Shubin Theater, and received great praise from audience members they asked in the lobby afterwards.

Director: Paul Triggiani
Head Writer: Steve Swan

Writers:
Vincent DiCostanzo
Luke Field
Sean Landis
Jess Ross
Matt Schmid
Adam Siry

Actors:
Jacqueline Baker
Jim Grammond
Brent Knobloch
Rich Lee
Jess Ross
Molly Silverman
Harry Watermeier

American Breakfast

American Breakfast debuted at Sketch Up or Shut Up in February 2012. Between then and now, they performed irregularly at the Theme Show and were invited to perform at ManiParty, at Camp Woods Plus and at the Shubin Theater. The name reflects their love of this country and its morning-specific food items. They are Sean Landis, Eric Steele, Peter Rambo and Nora Redman.

Cast:
Peter Rambo
Sean Landis
Eric Steele
Nora Redman

Daring Daulton

Daring Daulton is a sketch duo who have been performing in Philadelphia since March of 2012. Both members have a background in film and screenwriting, drawing influences from filmmakers like the Coen brothers, PT Anderson and sketch shows like the Kids in the Hall and Mr. Show. As such, Daring Daulton’s largely character-driven sketches can best be identified by their dark subject matter, absurdist elements and meticulous dialogue.

Cast:
Trevor Cunnion
Joe Paolucci

Meet Your Nominees for the 2013 WitOut Awards: Best Improv Group

It’s almost time for the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy!  As we get closer to the show, we’ll be rolling out a series of posts to help you get more acquainted with this year’s nominees. Read all about ‘em, and then be sure to get your tickets for the big event on January 13th at World Cafe Live!

The nominees for Best Improv Group are:

Davenger
A mix of improv veterans and fresh faces, Philly Improv Theater House Team Davenger likes its improv lean and gamey. Performing the classic Harold format, they attack the stage with emotion, intellect, and a strong sense of mischief.

Director:
Maggy Keegan

Cast:
Dan Corkery
Hilary Kissinger
Nicholas Mirra
Alex Newman
Cait O’Driscoll
Kevin Pettit
Jessica Snow
Max Sittenfield
Brian Rumble

The Amie & Kristen Show/Kristen & Amie Show
Best friends, total babes, and improvisers Amie Roe and Kristen Schier perform an organic and fluid improv comedy show that’s been featured in theater festivals throughout the United States and Canada (eh!). These West Philadelphia natives deliver improvised comedy that is part best girlfriend, part social commentary, and mostly id.

Cast:
Kristen Schier
Amie Roe

Asteroid!
Asteroid! are the nerdy-sexy Philly Improv Theater House Team who perform the grand-daddy of all improv forms: The Harold. Aided by their great hair, pop-culture references, and excellent fashion sense, they create aerobic, quick-paced shows where you’re all but guaranteed to see a funeral–or at least a death–and one terrible celebrity impression.

Director:
Mike Marbach

Cast:
Bert Archer
Luke Field
AJ Horan
Brent Knobloch
Lora Magaldi
Jessica Ross
Aaron Unice
Caitlin Weigel

Kait & Andrew
Kait and Andrew have been performing improv comedy together as a duo since the first Duofest in 2010, when they performed a premise-based show called Mr. and Mrs. After discovering how well they worked together, they decided to carry on as a two-person team under the much simpler, way less imaganative moniker, Kait & Andrew.

Cast:
Kaitlin Thompson
Andrew Stanton

Hey Rube
Hey Rube is a PHIT House Team. They take one word from the audience as inspiration for a flurry of improvised craziness. Formed in 2011, Hey Rube appeared in the NYC Improv Festival and 2012 Del Close Marathon, was a Philadelphia Weekly Pick, and won last year’s WitOut Award for Best New Group.

Director:
Matt Holmes

Cast:
Aaron Hertzog
Alex Gross
Dennis Trafny
Jen Curcio
Lizzie Spellman
Mark Leopold
Rob Cutler
Tara Demmy

Top 5 of 2012: Corin Wells’s Top 5 Sexiest Improv Moments of 2012

As the year winds down, WitOut collects lists from comedy performers and fans of their favorite moments, comedians, groups, shows, etc. from the last year in Philly comedy. Top 5 of 2012 lists will run throughout December, and slightly beyond, if we deem it necessary–if you’d like to write one, pitch us your list at contact@witout.net!

Sexiness is not learned. It’s a gift and when you combine that gift with comedy, prepare to burst with laughter and…well… yea.

5.  The Birth of Davenger and Hot Dish (shameless, vain plug)

4. J.P. Boudwin and Billy Bob Thompson in Improv at Bernie’s
For the Del Close Marathon this year, the amazing Kaitlin Thompson came up with the brilliant concept of Improv at Bernie’s in which a group of improvisers do a set with a dead cast member, played effortlessly by Billy Bob Thompson.  In one of the scenes (I wish I could remember what it was about), J.P. gives Billy a nice long, loving, lustful raspberry right on his belly.

3. Asteroid!’s Orgy

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….This picture explains it.

2. Emily Davis.
Just… every time she walks on stage. ::swoon::

1. Andrew Stanton and Luke Field’s Duo

andrewluke

If you missed this, you missed life. Whatever stars aligned that day to bring this two together on stage, I am forever grateful because that was one of my favorite improv moments period. I think I described it as “my improv wet dream.”  Accurate.

Corin Wells is a member of the PHIT Improv House Team Hot Dish and Sketch House Team Dog Mountain. She also performs with the independent team Iron Lung and is one half of the duo Ebony and Ivory, hosts of ‘Cagematch’

Top 5 of 2012: Matt Nelson’s Top Five Whoa, So Glad I was in the Audience! Moments

As the year winds down, WitOut collects lists from comedy performers and fans of their favorite moments, comedians, groups, shows, etc. from the last year in Philly comedy. Top 5 of 2012 lists will run throughout December–if you’d like to write one, pitch us your list at contact@witout.net!

#5 – Sue Taney in Mother Truckers at Troika
03.09.2012 | Sideshow at the Arts Parlor
The concept for this Troika trio was pretty clear: Square Meg, Sweet n’ Sassy Cassidy & Star-Spangled Sharlene were three truck-driving, sass-talking long haulers who conversed via CB radio. The characters were great, and the costumes were a sight to behold. But what really made this show something for the books was Sue’s character and her obsession with snack foods. Planting herself in the bucket seat of her trusty big rig, Sue had packed a ridiculous number of munchies into a bag, which she proceeded to chow down on, dialogue be damned. This series of side-bits heightened to the point that Sue genuinely got her hand stuck in a tube of Pringles while diving for the last chip. A good part of the show was spent with a can shaped nub, and the resounding and so-satisfying pop that came with the eventual release of her hand was then instantly topped once more by Sue licking the Pringles seasoning off her arm.

#4 – Davenger at PHIF8
11.07.2012 | Prince Music Theater
As one of the newest house teams from PHIT, at this point I’d only had occasion to see Davenger a handful of times. Having been a fan of their coach Maggy Keegan for years, I knew this team was going to have “Harold” drilled deep into them, but I was hardly prepared for what would happen on the opening night of PHIF8. Shows like this remind me why the term “beats” is so spot on. Constructing their piece, they had a rhythm, pitch and level of synchronicity that is normally reserved for groups that have been playing together for years. All of these disparate moments became anchored to and eventually informed by a fantastic group game. Every cast member was leaning so far into every moment, that it felt like they couldn’t even be bothered with gravity.

#3 – Aaron Hertzog at BCCAF
09.09.2012 | ImprovBoston Mainstage
Admittedly, this one may be a bit of a cheat, as it took place in Boston; but it featured (then-Philly resident) Aaron Hertzog, and to be honest, this moment transcended any particular place we might have been, because we were no longer in this world. The night before, Aaron had featured at The Brattle (the largest venue of BCCAF). I was in the All-Star set right after and got to take in most of his current act. It was a great set, and he lived up to the stage. But this wouldn’t be his crowning moment. The following night IB had a showcase of comics featured throughout the week. Good stuff from Mary Radzinski, Pete Kuempel and many others. And they had to earn every bit of it… this was the last show on the last night of what had been a long festival. Even the locals had mostly bailed, and we were left with a few die-hards, staff, other comedians and a few randoms. Anyone who was feeling zapped and pulled thin was about to unknowingly receive a comedy face slap courtesy of Mr. Hertzog. Aaron came out and from the top injected more energy than I’ve ever seen from a comic not fueled by coke and living in the ’70s. It’s hard to describe what I heard and saw that night, but he went totally through the roof and off the rails in all the best, most captivating ways. I’ve never before or since seen a comic jump start and hold firm dominance over a room like Aaron did that quiet little Sunday night in Cambridge.

#2 – Kristin Finger’s Ref debut at ComedySportz
10.13.2012 | Playground at the Adrienne
This entry is great example of what can happen when an improviser and an audience member create a perfect storm that you wish could be bottled (then hidden in a trunk and locked away forever). Kristin has been a ComedySportz player for years now, but made her debut as a Ref only two short months ago. The night had gone well… player challengers, ref challenges, 5-things… the teams had battled and laughs were flowing. As you might imagine, many family, friends and fans were in attendance on this particular night—but fortunately, so was a random man. A random man with a random suggestion. At one point towards the end of the show, she asks the audience for a noun, and this man shouts, “black!” Now, granted this fell more into the adjective category, but Kristin shrugged it off and took it, for a game called 185. Which she had already announced as the next game. For those unfamiliar with the game, this means nothing to you. For those that do, and most of the audience in attendance that night, what almost came to pass is quite clear. You see, the setup of 185 is a groaner-style punchline game where improvisers take a suggestion, and fit it to a pre-established formula: 185 suggestions walk into a bar. The bartender says “we don’t serve suggestions in this bar,” so the suggestions reply “pun punchline.” Now go back and fill the blanks with that man’s suggestion. The whole place lost it, especially as we saw the full scope of pending doom and shocked reaction crawl across Kristin’s face. It was a show-stopper. After about two minutes of trying to gain the composure of eye-tearing laughter from everyone in the place, Kristin decided to get a new suggestion.

#1 – Kait & Andrew at PHIT
12.02.2012 | Shubin Theatre
My top spot goes to a show that probably had the smallest audience of any on my list. A few short weeks ago Kait & Andrew did a 7PM show at the Shubin, sharing a bill with Matt&. Kait & Andrew had a pretty decent show, punctuated by their classic fourth wall-breaking banter that makes them so endearing and honest. It was fun, but not exceedingly stand-out—until the last scene, where everything changed. Kaitlin started the scene off by coming unglued at Andrew… startlingly so. Andrew came right back at her. The scope of the argument was that he had spent 8 years training to be a hide-and-seek champion, meanwhile she’d felt completely neglected in their relationship. In turn, he felt she wasn’t supporting his training, which he was doing for the betterment of their relationship. Over the course of the next few minutes, the two would spew accusations at one another, managing to pull out callback after callback of damn near every element of the show up until then. From fantastical gifts like Mayan Bee Fighting to seemingly insignificant expressions and sighs, everything was ammo. And during this escalating vitriol volley, neither forgot for a moment to ground everything to the characters, their shared relationship and raw emotions. It was like the first 20 minutes were merely a set up to this moment of explosion. The slow fade to black as Andrew moved to cover his dog’s eyes left me with shivering excitement and disbelief at the high-stake magic I’d just been witness to.

Matt Nelson is Executive Producer of the Philadelphia Improv Festival and Managing Director of Figment Theater. In addition to running the annual improv competition Troika, Matt can be seen performing in the touring show Adrift. You can follow him on Twitter at @ma77nelson.

Awkward Moments with Hilary Kissinger: “Your Family’s in the Audience”

“Awkward Moments” is a monthly column that asks comedians, “What do you do when…” In this installment we talk about how performance is affected by who’s in the crowd.

Do you tell your parents the same stories you tell your friends? Would you describe to your boss the intimate but hilarious details of your last sexual encounter? How would you feel if someone you admired watched you bomb on stage?

We all tailor our social interactions to the particular people we’re talking to, but performers usually can’t control who comes out to see them do their thing. Comedy often includes, and sometimes depends on, material that is personal, embarrassing, or way dirtier than anything you’d find yourself discussing around the family dinner table. So when that family shows up to support the comedian in their lives, how does it affect the person on stage?

CONTINUE READING…

Fringe Festival Preview: Davenger

By Hilary Kissinger

I felt compelled to write in to WitOut to share my feelings. I like to write, and I have a lot of feelings. Lately, a lot of my good feelings have been happening on Wednesday nights, when my Philly Improv Theater house team Davenger rehearses.

I recently moved to Brooklyn because my husband got a fancy new job there. But because of my feelings, I just couldn’t leave this group of people or give up the incredible experience of learning and performing with them. Here’s what keeps me coming back on a crowded Megabus, and what we will strive to share with you during our Fringe Festival run:

1. Our good friend Harold. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be seeing the word “classic” cropping up next to this long form structure. Well-known in the improv community, the Harold has a long history stretching back to its development by Del Close in the 1960s, but it still felt revolutionary to me when I was first introduced to it in 2006. I feel like it is an excellent vehicle for a team to develop its skills and craft a cohesive performance, and I am really happy that Davenger has chosen to explore the Harold’s challenges and satisfactions. Our director Maggy Keegan has an excellent eye for both the macro and micro levels of attention that the Harold demands, and she encourages us to reflect on our work not only as collected bits of comedy but also as thematically-linked commentary. She also likes when we make creepy faces.

2. Chemistry. (You know, like on Breaking Bad.) Another thing Maggy’s done for Davenger (every time I drop her name I get to take the suggestion for another show) is really focus on the unique strengths of each individual on the team. We’ve done two rounds of “clinics” in rehearsal, where we’ll spend 15 minutes or so working with one particular improviser on something he or she has identified as a personal challenge. I love this. It’s really liberating to get to proclaim, “I think I’m bad at this!” and to have the group say, “We’ve got your back. Let’s play about it!” Maggy (+3) has created a really supportive space that encourages a lot of feedback. Usually that feedback is – “Fuck you, Dan.” This is a big compliment.

3. The Warm-Up. You won’t actually see it at a Davenger show, but somewhere, probably in the basement beneath your seats as you settle in with a PBR, it is happening. A manic, incomprehensible goulash of circle games is devolving into bits, and patterns are becoming infected with patterns in an ever-repeating comedy fractal. Ok, so basically we point at each other and clap our hands at the same time. But you can expect it to sound something like this:

You – Yes – You – Yes – Rusty – Yes – Bear – Yes – clap clapclap clapclapclap – zoom – zoom – oilslick! – zoom – ERR! – zoom – Reasonable Beets! – Ladder Man! – clap clap clap clapclap clap clap – Run DMC – Yes – Method Man – Yes – NINJA SCREAMS – OldTimeyProspectorsYeeeeHOOOOO!pewpewpew

Just know that everything you see on stage is informed by this ritual. Sometimes there are Stallone impressions.

4. Memes. Because Davenger is a thing, that means it needs a “social media presence.” That means that I have an outlet to create and share pictures with words over top of them. Here’s one that Alex made:

Topical.

5. Cupcakes & Nicknames. At our first rehearsal, we selected nicknames for one of the circle games in our warmup. It looks like we’ll have them forever. We also really like cupcakes. Cait made these cherry limeade beauties for our potluck team dinner:

And Jess made these nickname-cakes back when we were still codenamed “Westmarch”:

Anyway. Be jealous of our cupcakes.

I seriously love improvising with Davenger, and I want to share them with the world. But not the cupcakes. I won’t share those.

Davenger is: Dan Corkery, Hilary Kissinger, Nicholas Mirra, Alex Newman, Cait O’Driscoll, Kevin Pettit, Brian Rumble, Jessica Snow, and Max Sittenfield. They are directed by Maggy Keegan.

Davenger performs Wednesday, September 12 – Saturday, September 15 on the Mainstage at the Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom St.) Tickets can be purchased online.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 47

Last night, the seventh annual Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest kicked off at Helium Comedy Club. This year, over 150 comedians will compete in 11 preliminary rounds for the chance to move on to the semi-finals, and eventually the finals, where one will be named Philly’s “Phunniest”. Last night, James Hesky, Omar Scruggs, and Vince Patterson moved on to the next round. The competition continues next Monday, June 11 and the opening round continues on Sunday and Monday nights until August 13 (full schedule here).

This weekend marked the debut of two new Philly Improv Theater House Teams. Davenger (formerly Codename Westmarch) and Hot Dish (formerly Codename Strider) took the stage with UCB team Surfing Friday night to two sold out shows and returned to packed housed at PHIT again on Saturday night. If you missed it, you can read the two new teams introduce themselves to the world through Witout here (Davenger) and here (Hot Dish).

This weekend Philly Improv Theater will host the third annual Duofest, a celebration of improv duos from across the country. Shows start Thursday night and continue through until Sunday. Improv workshops taught by Jill Bernard, Joe Bill, Rachel & Dave, and Twinprov are also being held. Also – be on the lookout for more Duofest Interviews this week, here on Witout.

The lineup and date for the next Camp Woods Plus at L’etage (6th and Bainbridge) has been announced. Their next monthly show will be Wednesday, June 13th at 8:00PM and will feature brand new sketches from Camp Woods as well as guests The New Dreamz and Angel Yau.

Friday, June 15th, Mani Pedi will host their second ManiParty, this time at Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) Mani Pedi will welcome guests Carolyn Busa and American Breakfast. Doors for the event open at 8:00PM and the show begins at 9, with a dance party following the comedy. Tickets for ManiParty are $10 and include free ice cream.

Review: House Team Night, Hey Rube + Davenger

By: Rachel Goodman

There was anticipation in the room on Saturday night, waiting for 8:30 to come at the Philly Improv Theater. This was not just an ordinary House Team night. It would be the second show for new team Davenger, followed by a performance from veteran team Hey Rube! Both teams had the audience rolling over in laughter.

Davenger came out first, receiving the suggestion of Family. After a brief moment where the troupe discussed a few stories about what the word family means to them, Hilary Kissinger and Dan Corkery stepped out and had everyone on the edge of their seats as they looked at each other and just “knew” each other’s thoughts. This continued to come back in various forms, as in the moment where Brian Rumble stepped out with Dan Corkery, attempting to read his thoughts, to no avail.

“What?” Dan’s character said after a moment of silence, followed by huge laughter from the audience. And the laughter kept coming in with Nick Mirra as the hypochondriac. His portrayal of a relative in a bubble suit at a funeral seemed so real that it almost looked as if you could take the helmet off of his head.

And then, of course, what would the mention of a funeral be without the mention of ghosts?

“I’m a medium, not a Ghost Buster!” yelled Alex Newman, as a psychic, talking to Cait O’Driscoll and Kevin Pettit, two people dealing with their aunt’s dead dogs and dead neighbor’s haunting them.

Next, Hey Rube took the stage with the suggestion of Puppy. Some of the most memorable moments of this set came from Alex Gross as the “retarded” dog who later ended up being a normal human who was playing a retarded dog so that he could get into the safe that belonged to Lizzie Spellman’s father. There was also a recurring theme where everyone was blaming their father for their shortcomings/mistakes in life and that nothing was their fault. This seemed to hold true when Rob Cutler brought home his new baby boy to Aaron Hertzog who was building a brick wall to hide from fatherhood. After Aaron’s character flicked the baby, later on in the set Jen Curcio was suddenly mooing and acting slow.

“Son. I just want you to know that it is my fault that you’re like this. I flicked you when you were a baby and that’s why you moo like this.” Aaron said, receiving a roar of laughter from the audience.

But perhaps the most hilarious thing was when Alex Gross walked in as a very reluctant character and said, “Hey… my mom said that I have to play with you again…” and proceeded to “milk” Jen Curcio’s character.

If in the off chance anyone in the theatre that night was sleeping, they were no longer sleeping once Mark Leopold walked on as a wolf-dog, screeching at the top of his lungs at Lizzie Spellman for basically everything, including breathing. Finally in a future scene with this character, the moon, his supposed lover, breaks up with him and in a heartfelt moment he begins to howl.

Hey Rube completed their set with three of the main “father blaming” characters sitting down, repeating how far back they had been blaming their paternal lineage for their problems, when Lizzie comes in to blame her mother.

“Ooops! Wrong meeting!” she says, and walks away.

Overall, watching both of these teams was an incredible experience that anyone should be sure to check out and go along for the ride.